A BRAND new sailing barge is set to be officially launched in Maldon tomorrow.

Thames sailing barge Blue Mermaid is the first to be built since 1930.

The boat will set sail at Hythe Quay with speeches and blessings starting at 1pm.

A spokesman said: “Commissioning in 2019, Blue Mermaid is a faithful replica of the original Blue Mermaid.

“She was one of the last Thames sailing barges built, in 1930, but was lost during the war.

“She starts her career working residentially at sea with disadvantaged and disabled young people and those training for maritime careers.”